Court action over exec is step nearer

AN Ipswich man has vowed to continue challenging the appointment of Suffolk's £220,000 chief executive Andrea Hill after taking a further step towards a court hearing.

Neil Puffett

AN Ipswich man has vowed to continue challenging the appointment of Suffolk's £220,000 chief executive Andrea Hill after taking a further step towards a court hearing.

Peter Turtill is demanding answers over the controversial appointment and has now received a response from the district auditor as to why the issue was not taken further.

Mr Turtill said he will now formally object to Suffolk County Council's accounts when they are published in the coming months.


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He said: “I feel his [the district auditor's] response did not tell me anything. It has opened up my eyes even more.

“If people want to do things like this with fantastic amounts of money, the process has got to be completely open to the public.

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“People were absolutely amazed when this happened.”

Legislation states that a single registered voter in Suffolk can challenge the decision of the district auditor not to take further action on such an issue and can even prompt a court ruling on the matter.

Mr Turtill's initial objection required the auditor to state in writing the reasons for his decision not to refer the matter to court.

In his response to Mr Turtill, district auditor Robert Davies listed why he decided not to take the case to court.

In the letter he said: “I concluded that the areas for improvement did not mean that the appointment process was fundamentally flawed or that unlawful decisions were made.”

The next step in the process is to appeal the decision directly to court, a move that affords the court the same ruling powers as if the auditor had raised the issue themselves.

Suffolk County Council has declined to comment on the matter, stating any objection is a matter for the Audit Commission.

- Are you in favour of the matter going to court? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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